With the country basking in glorious sunshine and high 20s temperatures we headed off for St Abbs in late afternoon. Imagine our concern as we neared the border and found patchy mist at the coast.
Thursday was our trek north starting with Bass Rock. That white capped haven for gannets in the Firth of Forth. The cliffs are spectacular from sea level and the noise awe inspiring. Jumping in and going down the rock wall that seems to stretch away forever, teeming with life as we drifted gently past selecting our depth and hiding against the rock whenever something interesting was spotted. as we went further round we emerged into the lee and could explore at our leisure as we slowly ascended the more stepped face. Fantastic nudibranchs. Second dive, the River Garry, a flattened wreck just off the power station. Lots of nooks and crannies to explore amongst the rusting iron. As the day progressed we started to ‘see the light’ and so the customary BBQ was enacted.
Friday. Let’s go south. Although in reality we could have been going round in circles given the sea fret. There was enough visibility to recover divers but not to see the shore clearly. Our first appointment was with the Shadwan. On the way there porpoises briefly joined us. A broken wreck with lots of opportunities to explore. In the afternoon we dived at the ridges of East Neuk, off Burnmouth. There was some old wreckage – boilers, block and scattered plate but it rapidly became lost in the silt as divers stirred up the sandy bottom. The current took us, and the silt along the hollow between the ridges. Several of us ‘swapped’ ridges for slightly clearer viz. Again the clearing skies gave the opportunity for another BBQ. Well done Richard for the lamb koftis. A few of the party had to leave us for pressing engagements ant the weekend, so there was a small swap over.
Saturday dawned, a glorious day, and with it the opportunity to dive the Glanmire. Imagine our skipper’s consternation when another boat was there ahead of us with a gallon container as his shot line buoy. There followed the inevitable jockeying for position and banter. They went in first, a little early for the slack. When our turn came there was a little current running but easily manageable. Octopus !!! Out on the plates for all to see.
A quick change and then to the cafe for the best Culen Skink. Whilst enjoying that the Eyemouth Herring Queen, with her entourage, arrived and then alighted her water craft during our surface interval.
Afternoon Black Carrs, Wolfie spotting. Time for change in the evening, so off to Coldingham and the New Inn Beer Garden. Seemed a good idea until the rain started to rain. We hid under umbrellas and some sought sanctuary inside. We decided on fish and chips but then it started to bucket down. Somewhat damp, we scampered to the bus stop.
Starting with the Skellies, a glorious dive through the fantastic variety of terrain that St Abbs can offer and ending at Anemone Gullies. Then our last dive at Wuddy Rocks and the swim through into the sheltered shallow bay with lots to explore.
Through the long weekend we spotted Angler fish, Scorpion fish, Leopard Spotted Gobies, Tompots, Coger, Seal, Lobster of all sizes including crusty, Crabs of all varieties, Pollock, Cod, shoals of Coal fish, Dogfish, Flatfish, Butterfish, Starfish, Sunstars, Brittlestars, lots of varieties and colours of Anemones and Dead Mens Fingers. Visibility, excluding diver input was a fantastic 10-12m. A great 4 days diving. Can’t wait to return.
Many thanks to our fantastic skipper Paul and the lovely Rachel for looking after us at Rock House Diving.